Ethical practice in nursing care
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Ethical practice in nursing care

Janet Holt Director of student education, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
Helen Convey Lecturer in nursing, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds

Ethical practice is acknowledged as an essential feature of good nursing, yet defining what comprises such practice is complex. This article examines aspects of ethical practice from the perspectives of healthcare professionals, service users and carers. The relationship between ethical practice and decision making is discussed, recognising the importance of context and the responsibilities of the nurse. To demonstrate ethical practice, the nurse needs to act as a moral agent. Practising ethically means not only knowing the right thing to do, but also being prepared to put this into action. With this in mind, the complexities of ethical practice and opportunities to practise skills in ethical reasoning are explored.

Nursing Standard. 27, 13, 51-56. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review